- Gathering Our Medicine: Cultural Rituals As Emotional Playgrounds (Two Day Workshop)
February 18, 2022 - February 19, 2022
9:00 am - 1:30 pm
BC Play Therapy Association holds workshops throughout the year to help advance the education of Play Therapy Practitioners and related professions. These usually revolve around a specialized speaker teaching a subject of importance to the advancement of play therapy as a therapeutic practice.
Gathering Our Medicine: Cultural Rituals As Emotional Playgrounds
Presented by Denise Findlay, M.Ed., CPCC, ACC, and Marla Klyne Kolomaya, certified counselor and parent consultant, sponsored by the BC Play Therapy Association.
(8 CEs/CEUs) – Two Day Workshop
The Gathering Our Medicine Program has been developed in response to the unique and often complex needs of Indigenous children, youth and families (Canada, 2012) (Darcy, 2020) (Development, 2020) (Framework, 2019) (Battiste, 2013) who have been profoundly impacted by colonization and intergenerational trauma. It is intended to offer a conceptual frame for thinking about mental health services for Indigenous families and communities differently through an Indigenous philosophical, relational lens. By integrating Indigenous wisdom and western knowledges Gathering Our Medicine empowers community and helping professionals in the practice walking in two-worlds, weaving together a better future for Indigenous children and youth.
Gathering Our Medicine is an ongoing collaborative effort that includes engagement with Indigenous communities and the Gathering Our Medicine Working and Advisory Groups. Program development has been done mindfully and with reference to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, The Aboriginal Policy and Practice Framework in British Columbia, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, The Ministry of Child and Family Development’s Core Policy on Working with Indigenous Children, Youth, Families and Communities and the Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre’s Operational and Strategic Directional Plan 2017-2020.
The program is informed and guided by fresh understandings from developmental science, affective neuroscience, attachment theory, play theory, resilience and empathy research and by Indigenous scholars in the fields of Indigenous education, anthropology and psychology.
Gathering Our Medicine offers a fresh approach to working in culturally safe and relevant ways with Indigenous communities and families. This training has been customized especially for the BC Play Therapy Association as part of the professional development they offer to their members. During this two-day training participants will be engaged in experiential learning, reflection on their personal practice and dialogue in regards to becoming more culturally competent when working with Indigenous families.
British Columbia is the sacred territory of a diversity of over 300 Indigenous communities emanating from rich, cultural heritages and lifeways that have evolved slowly over time, in synchrony with nature. Culture has traditionally scripted the pathway to emotional health and well-being for families and communities, providing time for relationship and emotional expression through cultural affirmation. Ritual and remedy were woven together into a fabric of everyday life. Gathering Our Medicine synthesizes the science of play and healing with the power of cultural rituals, rites of passage and ceremony both large and small, simple and complex.
Denise has a unique vantage point as a member of the Squamish Nation, a native participant in ancient healing rituals, and a recognized western-based healer among her people with a university education in critical thinking. It is from this place that Denise will apply Neufeld’s attachment theory and fresh understandings of emotion to unlock the secrets of some of the more common healing rituals that have been depended upon for millennia.
- Describe emotion, play, ritual, and the relationship between them in Play Therapy
- Describe how play is a basic human need for both children and adults that can be facilitated through cultural rituals
- Demonstrate how to bring play to our consciousness so we can compensate for a loss of culture in our society
- Explain how to help our children find the play they need for emotional health and well-being in culturally significant and appropriate ways in Play Therapy
- Demonstrate how to nurture our own playfulness as adults in Play Therapy
- Describe a framework that invites new thinking and working by practitioners in Play Therapy
- Demonstrate how to reorient to the role of restorer of culture through play rituals as practitioners
Topics discussed include:
- Introduction To An Indigenous Relational Approach
- The healing power of cultural rituals and the role of play
- Connecting through Gathering Rituals
- Nature’s Plan for Growth and How Ritual and Play Bring Needed Rest
- Reducing Separation Through Continuity Rituals
- Recovering Resilience Through Grieving Rituals
- Ritualized Forms of Expression for Anxiety and Aggression
- Strengthening The Kinship Circle Through Introduction Rituals
WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
Play therapists, children’s counsellors, family therapists, family counsellors, psychologists, social workers, school counsellors, and other mental health professionals working with children, adolescents and families will benefit from this training. A basic understanding of play therapy would be beneficial.
About the Presenters:
Denise Findlay is a bi-cultural person of Indigenous Coast Salish and settler ancestry, proudly belonging to the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), who has dedicated the last 20 years to travelling throughout British Columbia and across Canada working exclusively in Indigenous communities facilitating processes focussed on collective healing. Denise’s work is strongly focussed on de-centring experts where child and youth mental health his concerned and restoring dignity to the role the natural kinship circle plays in providing care to Indigenous children and youth. Denise is responsible for leading the development and implementation of an innovative Provincial program called Gathering Our Medicine, in collaboration with community-based Advisory and Working Groups. Gathering Our Medicine provides an innovative, cross cultural framework that empowers communities to see themselves and their placed based ways of knowing and being as the best medicine for children and youth. The program respectfully and wisely de-centres mental health experts, re-orienting them as facilitators who walk alongside families and communities restoring dignity and confidence to the role of raising and caring for children.
Denise has the gift of the oral tradition. She is uniquely able to capture people’s attention, reaching into their hearts, transcending cultural, class, educational, and gender barriers.
Denise is currently undertaking a PhD. in Philosophy of Educational Practice and Theory at Simon Fraser University and was awarded a Social Sciences Humanities Resource Council Scholarship (Canadian Graduate Scholarship) for her ground-breaking research. Denise’s research focus is on intersecting knowledges emerging from the fields of attachment theory, and developmental and affective neuroscience with Indigenous wisdom traditions and how cultural places-based knowledges most naturally support healing, recovery and development across the life span for Indigenous families and communities. Denise longs to disrupt the status quo and affect sustainable change in the way mental health services are delivered in community settings to families impacted by colonization and intergenerational trauma.
Denise has spent countless hours facilitating group processes in response to social issues rooted in intergenerational trauma and colonization. Denise holds a Master of Education from Simon Fraser University focusing on Contemplative Education and is on Faculty with The Neufeld Institute where she specializes in Developmental Attachment Theory, Trauma, and Resilience. Denise is a certified BC Provincial Post-Secondary Instructor and Professional Co-Active Coach with advanced training in Process Psychology and systems work.
Denise has vast experience working in community and training Educators, Parents and Parent Groups, Social Workers, Early Childhood Educators, Mental Health Practitioners and other Helping Professionals. To learn more, purchase her books, or access more of her trainings, please visit: https://www.dfindlay.ca/
Marla Klyne Kolomaya is a certified counselor and parent consultant offering services for families struggling with making sense of often perplexing behaviours commonly seen in children and adolescents. Marla specializes in providing consulting and professional development for parents, educators and helping professionals who are yearning to make sense of the kids in their care.
After spending several years as a counselor within the education system, relishing in supporting students and their families with a developmental-relational model of building relationships, Marla made the decision to transition into private practice while completing an internship with Dr. Gordon Neufeld – a foremost authority on child development and a leading interpreter of the developmental paradigm.
Marla now serves on the faculty of the Neufeld Institute and has returned to her roots, supporting families within community through the Gathering Our Medicine model, and it is a most natural fit. She is eternally grateful to Dr. Gordon Neufeld and Denise Findlay for their teachings and wisdom. Marla approaches her consulting and teaching work rooted in the understanding that every child and adolescent has a unique capacity to flourish and reach their full potential when the conditions for this unfolding are provided for and supported.
Marla proudly descends from both French and English Metis ancestry and lives in the beautiful northern Interlake of Manitoba on a small cattle ranch. Her most treasured roles are partner to her husband Scott, Auntie to her nieces, nephews, and godchildren, as well as daughter, sister, & friend.
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